DOHUK, Iraq — U.S. military forces bombed at least two targets in northern Iraq on Thursday night to rout Islamist insurgents who have trapped tens of thousands of religious minorities in Kurdish areas, Kurdish officials said.
Word of the bombings, reported on Kurdish television from the city of Irbil, came as President Barack Obama was preparing to make a statement in Washington.
A defense official said Thursday night that the U.S. has made airdrops of food and water to citizens threatened by Islamic militants.
Kurdish officials said the bombings targeted fighters from the Islamic State who had seized two towns, Gwer and Mahmour. Residents who had fled those areas by car were heard honking their horns in approval.
Obama administration officials had said earlier in the day that Obama was considering airstrikes or airdrops of food and medicine to address a humanitarian crisis among as many as 40,000 members of religious minorities in Iraq, who have been dying of heat and thirst on a mountaintop where they took shelter after death threats from the Islamic State.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.